A common misconception that exists is what I call “the unwritten presumption” where courts do seem to favor placing the children with the mother and making mom the primary physical custodian. However, this is not always the case. There are a lot of good dads out there who provide the day-to-day caretaking responsibilities for and spend quality time with their children. Just because they are not of the female sex doesn’t mean they can’t have primary physical custody of their kids.
The primary misconception in a typical divorce with children is that mom gets the kids, dad gets parenting time every other weekend and dad’s going to have to pay support. I don’t know why, but this is how a lot of people think of it. There does exist another possibility: equal parenting time! If for whatever reason it is not possible for dad to be the primary physical custodian of the children it may be possible to work toward a parenting time schedule that will allow each parent what’s called “equal touches” or “50/50” parenting time, so that each parent can enjoy as much time with the kids as they can.
Equal parenting time could also help the father with his child support obligation, because the more overnights that he enjoys with the kids the less child support he may to have to pay. Alternatively, provided that the incomes of the parents are about equal, it is possible that neither parent will pay child support.
One thing I always explain to people going through a divorce is that they will experience obvious changes in their lifestyles. What does that mean? It means that you’re getting a divorce, so you’re going to see your kids less because you will have to share them. You’re going to have less stuff, and you’re probably going to have less income because you no longer are going to have the two streams of income you were previously used to. No one will get everything his or her way in this process. You will be starting a new chapter in your life and you must find the best way for you to move on and make the most of it.
Pursuant to Indiana Code 31-15-7-5, “The court shall presume that an equal division of property between the parties is just and reasonable.” Thus, the assets and liabilities of the marriage must be split as reasonably and equitably as possible. Of course there are exceptions to this rule and a “rebuttable presumption” may exist that an equal division may not be just and reasonable.
Another misconception about divorce is the cost of getting one. Some people believe it’s too expensive to get divorced. The best advice is to “belly up” and hire an experienced family law attorney so that your attorney can protect your best interests and the best interests of your children.